Following a brief synopsis of the history of the region.
AD 500 St Patrick brings Christianity to Ireland.
Tinahely ringfort built.
A ringfort is an enclosed dwelling which dates mainly from the period c.500-1200 AD. It consisted of a circular area enclosed by a large earth or stone bank with a deep outer ditch. They ranged in diameter from 15m to 60m, The bank was often surrounded by a timber palisade or fence. Circular houses were located within the centre of the ringfort which were gradually replaced by rectangular houses. The ringforts were built by the elite who practiced mixed farming and grew crops. There is one recorded ringfort in Tinahely which measures 29m in diameter and is located on a SE facing slope. It is defined by a partly levelled earthern bank which is 7m in width and varies from 0.3m to 0.7m in height. There are no surviving internal features.
795 AD First Viking rain in Ireland
AD 1000 Church at Kilcommon built 9th century.
The medieval period in Ireland began around 500 AD. This was a time of massive social change with the arrival of Christianity the new and soon to be dominant religion. The late fifth century saw the beginnings of extensive missionary activity in Ireland. St Patrick, Ireland’s national saint, is the best known of the early missionaries. Archaeological evidence for early medieval Christianity includes cemeteries, hermitages, and pastoral church sites along with large and small monasteries.
Additional monuments found in isolation and associated with ecclesiastical sites include holy wells, souterrains, bullaun stones, ogham stones and crosses. Kilcommon church contains evidence of early Christian activity in the form of an earlier enclosure and a font. There is no trace of an early church however the existing Church of Ireland was built on the original site in the nineteenth century.
1014 AD Forces of Brian Boru defeat Viking army in Clontarf.
116 AD Normans invade Ireland. Fitzwilliams family arrive in Ireland.
Tinahely during the late nineteenth and twentieth century was home to one of the largest horse fairs outside of Ballinasloe. They were held quarterly with traders and horses arriving in the village from all over the country. The horse fairs provided much needed work and social excitement in the village when they were held.
Tinahely Castle foundations built.
1224 Coolattin oak woods near Tinahely were declared a Royal Forest. This timber was used for building the English fleet and was stripped for that purpose during the 16th and 17th centuries. The roofs of many famous buildings such as Westminster Hall in London and Trinity College in Dublin have roof timbers converted from the great Coolattin oaks.
1641 Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, founder of Coollattin Estate, beheaded on 12th May.
1798 Rebellion. Tinahely burnt to the ground.
1845 The Great Famine.
1866 Railway comes to Tinahely.
1937 The first ever Tinahely Agricultural Show is held.
Born out of Tinahely’s connection and love with the horse, the first agricultural show was held in 1937. The show has grown from humble beginnings to being awarded the title or Wicklow County Chow in 1971. Held on the August Monday Bank Holiday each year the show now takes place at a purpose built, spectacular 71 acre site at Fairwood which hosts up to 25,000 visitors. The Show Society is made up of local volunteers who ensure that the event is a highlight of the Irish rural calendar and is now one of the largest agricultural one day show in Ireland. http://tinahelyshow.ie/agricultural-show/
For interesting historical information on Tinahely, Coolattin, Shillelagh and Carnew, including Tomnafinnoige Woods, click here (you will be redirected to an external site).